Norfolk Ukraine appeal overwhelmed with donations within hours of launch

Ian Odgers from Dereham started the appeal to get jackets across to those affected by the conflict in Ukraine. 

Ian Odgers from Dereham started the appeal to get jackets across to those affected by the conflict in Ukraine. - Credit: Ian Odgers

An appeal to send essential goods to those fleeing Ukraine was overwhelmed with donations just hours after launching.

Ian Odgers, from Dereham, started the appeal on February 28 to get jackets across to those affected by the conflict.

Mr Odgers, who is well known for his marathon fundraising, arranged to have the donations dropped off at the town’s Morrisons, through the store’s community champion, Leanne Jarman. The space is already full.

He is now adding additional donation spaces, as well as putting trailers at the supermarket to increase its capacity.

 He arranged to have the donations dropped off at the town’s Morrisons, the space is already full.

Ian Odgers arranged to have the donations dropped off at the town’s Morrisons, through the store’s community champion, Leanne Jarman. The space is already full. - Credit: Ian Odgers

However, since the huge response, he has contacted the Ukrainian embassy based in London, which is now asking for more essential goods to help those in need which will be transported from Norfolk down to the capital.

They are asking for warm clothes in all sizes, boots in all sizes, military equipment such as helmets and knee pads, sleeping bags, ground mats, walky-talkies, nappies, wheelchairs, baby food, and non-perishable food items.

Mr Odgers has asked if donations could be labelled to help them sort out material quickly.

Dereham's super marathon man Ian Odgers is heading towards the 200 mark. Picture: Ian Odgers

Ian Odgers has contacted the Ukraine embassy based in London, which is now asking for more essential goods to help those in need. - Credit: Archant

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Items can be dropped off at Morrisons on Station Road, Waites and Stones Ltd in Swaffham, between 9am - 3pm, and 4pm - 5:30pm, Monday to Friday. Items can also be delivered directly to Mr Odgers' workplace, Peerless Plastics and Coatings in Thetford. He has asked that donors message him first before doing so.

“It is fantastic to see this response,” he said.

“I know what Dereham can be like in these situations, it touches all of us because we are all human beings.

“We even have got people offering to drive to Romanian and Polish borders if required.

“I’m just a point of contact, without the generosity of these people this stuff could not happen.”

The Swanton Morley Brownies have also come on board to help with donations, including sorting out labels for all the items that come in.

Morrisons can be found at Station Road, East Dereham NR19 1DF.

Waites and Stones Ltd can be found at Cherry Tree Farm, Brandon Road, Swaffham PE37 8HN.

You can also contact Mr Odgers via Facebook.